n. pl. for·mu·las or for·mu·lae (-lē′)
a. An established form of words or symbols for use in a ceremony or procedure.
b. An utterance of conventional notions or beliefs; a hackneyed expression.
2. A method of doing or treating something that relies on an established, uncontroversial model or approach: a new situation comedy that simply uses an old formula.
a. A symbolic representation of the composition or of the composition and structure of a compound.
b. The compound so represented.
a. A prescription of ingredients in fixed proportion; a recipe.
b. A liquid food for infants, containing most of the nutrients in human milk.
5. Mathematics A statement, especially an equation, of a fact, rule, principle, or other logical relation.
6. Formula Sports A set of specifications, including engine displacement, fuel capacity, and weight, that determine a class of racing car.
[Latin fōrmula, diminutive of fōrma, form.]
for′mu·laic (-lāĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.